Trumpet the News! Jazz @ the Sandbar Returns to UNO Wednesdays This Fall

The University of New Orleans gets into the swing of the fall semester next week with a return of Jazz @ theSandbar, a weekly opportunity for UNO students, faculty, staff and friends to enjoy musical performances by some of New Orleans’ most prominent and up-and-coming musicians.

New Orleans jazz artist and patriarch of the UNO jazz studies program, Ellis Marsalis in 1990 founded the series that Downbeat Magazine calls “one of the best things going in America," turning The Cove on UNO’s lakefront campus into a living laboratory where UNO students performed with national and international jazz artists. Now in its 22nd season, Jazz @ the Sandbar returns this fall to the Cove, which received a $4.7 million post-Katrina renovation in December, 2011. The series will run from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. from Oct. 3 through Nov. 14 at The Cove, located on Founders Road. Admission is $5.

Marsalis, the first chairman of UNO’s jazz studies program, designed the Jazz @ the Sandbar performances to provide UNO Jazz Studies students an opportunity to get real life experience performing with professional musicians in front of a live audience. Offered during the fall and spring semesters, the series “features a different respected jazz artist each week,” according to the New Orleans Jazz Celebration, which partners with UNO to produce the program. “It also provides a medium in which students exercise their improvisational skills and gives them the rare opportunity to work with jazz masters which have included Marcus Roberts, Ravi Coltrane and Nicholas Payton among many others.”

New Orleans Jazz Celebration announces the complete schedule of guest artists coming through the end of the season:

ELLIS MARSALIS on Oct. 3

"It is becoming a tradition that UNO patriarch and jazz education icon Ellis Marsalis kicks off the Sandbar season, and this year is no exception. The premier modern jazz pianist of New Orleans...and the father of a generation of contemporary jazz musicians who are considered the international leaders of the current scene. Together with his sons Wynton, Branford, Delfeayo and Jason, the Marsalis clan is often referred to as ‘The First Family of Jazz’."

DEREK DOUGET on Oct. 10

Saxophonist Derek Douget serenades audiences with equally powerful and melodic vibes as he switches between alto, soprano, and tenor sax throughout his sets. A native to Gonzales, Louisiana, Douget contains an advanced jazz dexterity that is reminiscent of Sidney Bechet and old world New Orleans. Notably, he performed on the 2010 Grammy Winning Album “Book One” with the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra.  The Grammy was awarded for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album.

JONATHAN LEFCOSKI on October 17

Classically trained pianist Jonathan Lefcoski has made a name for himself in the jazz world by playing with the likes of Jason Marsalis, Grammy winning trumpeter Nicholas Payton and with the legendary R&B vocalist Johnny Adams. Lefcoski has toured internationally as a musical ambassador for the US State Department throughout Europe and the Middle East saying that "music is universal" throughout all languages.

VICTOR ATKINS III, ED PETERSEN, & STEVE MASAKOWSKI on Oct. 24

University of New Orleans professors Victor Atkins, Ed Petersen and Steve Masakowski will perform original Jazz music based on renowned authors William Faulkner, Dr. Seuss and John Kennedy Toole. These performances were originally presented as a Jazz Masters Series commissioned by New Orleans Jazz Institute.

JOANNE BRACKEEN on Oct. 31

Known as the “Picasso of Jazz Piano,” Joanne Brackeen’s cutting-edge elegance as a musician ranks her among some of the top pianist in the world including Keith Jarrett, McCoy Tyner, and Chick Corea. Brackeen first gained recognition as the first and only female member of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers from 1969-1972. With 25 albums to date, her style is consistently inventive, dynamic, and filled with playful imagery that captivates audiences.  

GUITARIST TED LUDWIG with the UNO Guitar Ensembles on Nov. 7

World class seven-string jazz guitarist Ted Ludwig is an improviser who plays with effortless grace the melody and swing of traditional jazz. While a student at the University of New Orleans, Ludwig studied with jazz notables Ellis Marsalis, Harold Batiste, Hank Mackie and Steve Masakowski. Transplanted to Little Rock after Hurricane Katrina, the alumni is back in the Big Easy to team up with the UNO Guitar Ensembles under the direction of Mackie and Masakowski.

TRUMPETER MARK BRAUD with the UNO Classic jazz Combo Nov. 14

Grandson of the legendary trumpeter John "Picket" Brunious, Sr. and nephew of internationally acclaimed jazz trumpeters Wendell Brunious and John Brunious, Jr., Mark Braud was destined to acquire a passion for music and pursue a career as a musician. A native to New Orleans, Mark has toured with Harry Connick Jr., Dr. Michael White, Henry Butler, and Legendary R&B singer Eddie Bo to name a few. Mark Braud joined Preservation Hall Jazz Band as one of its youngest members, keeping the New Orleans jazz tradition alive.

Jazz @ the Sandbar is presented by the UNO Jazz Studies Program with support from the UNO Student Government Association, WWNO, Nate & Priscilla Gordon, the UNO international Alumni Association and the New Orleans Jazz Celebration.

For more information, call UNO Music Dept. at 504-280-6381www.nojc.org/sandbar.